Stepdad with a Deadline

Patty S just asked:

I have my 1st call with a parent at 3:00 PM Central time today.  I have been stewing about what direction to go.  The biggest issue I see is that her husband (child's stepfather) has set a deadline of Aug 1 for her son to move out of the house.  She does not want to make him move out for fear of what will happen to him "on the streets".  Any suggestions on how you would handle this?  Thanks for your quick response!

Here is our response:

Hi Patty --


Heather is in a meeting, so I am pinch-hitting, with a big assist from Karla (from the Helpline.)


Here are some thoughts -- As this is the first call, hear out everything the mom has to say, using LOVE skills.  There may be a piece of the puzzle that hasn't been communicated yet. Talk about LOVE skills and where they can be found in the 20 Minute Guide.  Tell the mom that you have been using LOVE skills with her.


Encourage the mom to use LOVE skills with her husband -- to validate and empathize, especially -- and to ask him for any ideas that he may have in addition to the August 1 deadline.  That way there may be an idea that she can live with:  the husband can feel heard and be more open towards a solution other than the son leaving the house. 


Some 20 Minute Guide topics include:

As this appears to be a pressing problem, you may want to email the topics to the Caller after the call.


Finally, it may be tempting to solve the problem (pull out that nail!), but this family ultimately needs to find a solution they all can live with.


Thanks & Good Luck!



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Comments: 2
  • #1

    Pat A (Tuesday, 16 June 2015 20:40)

    Hi Patty,
    Kevin's advice was right on the money. How did it go?

  • #2

    Patty Sykstus (Monday, 22 June 2015 18:54)

    Pat - this info was great. We ended up focusing mostly on communication as this seems to be the root of the issue and she has virtually no communication with either her son or husband due to the situation. I just discussed this case with the monthly support call and got some great feedback. I feel very well prepared for our next call. This is a great format for seeking assistance!